Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 February 2012
This study examined the relationships between obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCs) and encoding style in a subclinical sample, by using a questionnaire that evaluates the extent to which preexisting schemata (versus cues from the outside world) affect encoding processes (Lewicki, 2005). Research on encoding style has revealed on one hand the existence of individual differences in the tendency to impose interpretive schemata in the process of encoding, and on the other hand the fact that an extremely internal mode of encoding has been found to be related to an increased propensity to self-perpetuate preexisting schemata. Furthermore, internal encoding may contribute to the development of psychopathological symptoms, through the self-perpetuation of dysfunctional schemata. The results confirmed that OCs are connected with an internal encoding style; specific relationships between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) dimensions and internal encoding style were also found. These results are discussed in terms of the role of encoding style in the perpetuation of OCs, and its relationship to the dysfunctional beliefs characterising OCD.